What I Do vs. What I Believe, Part 1 July 4, 2011
Do you really believe that what you believe is really real? So ended the first session of The Truth Project, a DVD-based worldview study from Focus on the Family which we presented several years ago at Parker Hills. Dr. Del Tackett concluded his first lecture with this haunting question, and I’ve pondered it often since.
It reminded me of a thought that first came my way about 20 years ago, in a course taught by one of my favorite college profs. He opined, “We don’t need to live what we believe. We already do. We can tell exactly what we really believe by how we live.”
At first I thought he was loony; but after about five minutes of raising and answering objections in my own mind, I concluded that he was absolutely right…and brilliant.
About 10 years later I read John Piper’s Future Grace, with its central thesis that sin gets its power from the pleasures it (falsely) promises us and so the way to fight for holiness is to believe the promises of superior satisfaction from God. That book literally changed my life. Suddenly, I saw that the key to fighting sin was not the gargantuan effort required to deny myself pleasure and “Just say no” to sin. Sure, the Bible exhorts us to say no, but a more biblically complete approach requires us to say “yes” to the promises of a far surpassing joy and fulfillment that God offers in His word. So once again, I was pointed back to the ultimate question: “What do I really believe? My feelings? The siren song of sinful desire? The culture? Or God’s word?”
For example, Dr. Tackett suggested that if he himself really believed all that the Bible says about the fatherly nature of God and the power of prayer, he wouldn’t have a problem NOT praying. The difficulty would be getting himself to stop praying!
I think he’s right. Do you? I think his question is one that’s well worth asking.
Do you really believe that what you believe is really real? …about God? …heaven and hell? …the Bible? …the final judgment? …the gospel? Prove it. Live it.
(coming next week: why we tend not to live what we say we believe)